Worried about toddler's reaction when we bring new baby home on Friday
Hi, everyone. We are finally bringing our son home from the NICU after almost 3 months of care b/c he was born 13 weeks early. While I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing him home, I worry about our 2-year old son's reaction. We have tried to tell him about the baby, but he is really too young yet to grasp the concept. I worry that he will be aggressive with the baby, as he has recently hit the "terrible twos" and has been throwing small toys and pitching little temper tantrums here and there. He is usually a very easy going and loving child, but lately he has really been showing us that he has a moody side, too. I don't want to be too restrictive with him around the baby, but I really have to be careful with him, too. I know that I can't leave them alone together, and to keep the baby out of reach when I am not right there...but I obviously can't keep my eye on the two year old every second. Do you think I am overreacting? Any thoughts?
Thank you all for your responses...I guess I'm worried that he will be rough with him...not necessarily that he will be purposely aggressive. I worry about balancing care of both of them individually and together, and don't want to alienate my two-year old or make him feel less special. I don't know how to accomplish parenting two kids - yikes! I suppose that I will get the hang of it...just like getting the hang of being a first time parent. It's just a little scary!
i too just brought home a newborn, and i have a 6yr old daughter and 21 month old son. my daughter is doing well with the baby, but i think my son thinks of her as a pet more than a baby. he's always wanting to pet her. we have to keep them separated because he doesn't realize how fragile she is. i have made a point of having my dh take the baby for awhile each day so i can spend time with my son. or, when the baby is asleep in her bassinet (she sleeps in our room for now) i have my son come in the room and cuddle with me so i can have them in the same room, but not alone. make sure you don't give your 2yr old anything in the car like toys or cups. if he's anything like my son they just become projectiles. i don't think you're being overly worried, because it is quite an adjustment for them.
good luck, and congrats on bringing home your little one.
I had a 25 month old boy when I brought home his DS. It didn't really ever occur to me that he would hurt her, more that he would feel left out or replaced (and he was not a 'gentle' child, more of a wall-climbing fun-loving crazy man, and of course the Center of the Absolute Universe!). I kept newborn pretty close by though and we were always almost together. She slept a lot and wasn't too interesting.
In terms of bonding, I tried to appeal to his bigboyness and essentially "gave" him his sister--I told him how he was going to teach her to walk so she could play with him and how he was going to teach her to talk and how he was going to teach her to get dressed but right now she was going to sleep for a while because she wasn't as big and strong as he was yet. He was more protective than me. "MY sister" he would tell neighbors and friends and sometimes did not let people near her. He loved her fiercely for about 3 weeks, was VERY VERY good (I was worried). Finally one day I saw him reach in and take a toy or something and very lightly swat her hand (slight aggression). Honestly I was relieved (of course I didn't let him do it again). Also I had his sis bring HIM a present home from the hospital. He remembers to this day what DS brought him when she was born, because she cared about him so much--a Batman plate and silverware---2 year olds don't really get the shopping concept so he didn't question where this stuff came from. They love each other very much and still call out 'goodnight' "I love you' to each other after lights out from their separate rooms--something kind of extraordinary for a 9 and an 11 year old. (I am kind of sure though if I had 'banned' the baby he would have resented her.) Best of luck!
I read your last comment about being able to balance both children and it brought back memories. Everyone told me that I would be a little sad about "leaving" my older baby for the new one (although I never thought of it as leaving) I understood the point. The toddler wonders why did mom get another baby when she had me? I was so worried about this and tried to prepare myself, but in all honesty, once the baby arrived, it was the baby I felt sad for. With the first baby there was alot of sitting around, holding, rocking, and just watching her sleep. I couldn't do any of that with the second, because I was still chasing around the first one! Once I finally got my newborn to sleep, I couldn't just sit there and marvel at the miracle that I was given, I had to chase around the other miracle! The first few weeks were difficult for me emotionally. I was so worried that one of my kids would be messed up for life because they weren't getting the attention they needed, but in the end, they are just fine! My first one is still the whiney, needy one (God bless her little soul!) and my second in Mr. Independent and can do anything! It does get easier as time goes on and one day you won't even think about it anymore, you have all just blended into one happy family!
Hey, how is your little one doing? I brought a 28weeker home to my 20m old twins and their reaction was very different. Already in the hospital on their short visits my DS was very interested and wanted to hug him and my DD ignored him completely (would point to all the other babies), wouldn't even look at me when I held him. At home it was the same, DS was very enthousiastic and the baby had to sit on his lap and he only wanted to kiss him, DD ignored him for weeks or only touched him 1 second. Our main concern was washing hands, we had Purell everywhere and they loved to use it (even my DD who would not touch the baby). I was lucky enough to get him home without any monitors/oxygen, so I don't know how important it is for you to keep you son away from the baby. Probably more then it was for me since it is RSV season now. I had to keep an eye on them all the time (my DS always wanted to climb in his crib to kiss him (and the winnie the pooh mobile ;-)
It might be helpful to incorporate your son in the baby's care (getting you a pillow or wipes or stuff, that's what my DD loves most now.
Good luck on friday, it will be an exciting day!!! If I may give a tip from my experience: don't let visitors in the house the first day, you'll be busy enough adjusting yourself and your son might not like the extra attention for the baby.
It's only natural to be a little worried...your toddler's entire life as he/she knows it is about to change. I brought my newborn home and my DD was 21 months old. She did very well...I just made sure that she knew she was just as important and special as the new baby. You will obviously be spending a lot of time with the new one, as they require more care. Give your toddler a chance, don't treat the baby like its completely off limits. If you toddler does get a little over excited, just explain that babies are tiny and you need to be very careful and gentle around them. But....please don't worry too much because soon enough your sweet little baby will be big enough to romp and stomp around the house with your older one and then best buddies will be made!!!!!
I had the same for age difference--mine were 20months apart. I was lucky--my oldest still went to grandma and grandpas onmost days--we tried not to upset his routine. If that is possible for you to stick to the routine you had before such as going to daycare try to keep it that way. You willhave more time to bond with the new baby and the older one will feel like his life is still the same. My little guys are the best of firends and do everything together--there were times he would through a toy in the bassinet not understanding that baby can't play yet. But they will get the ihint as long as you just keep explaining it to them. The hardest part for me was just trying to keep my cool when both needed me at the same time. Can;t tellyou how many times I was walking around the house nursing and trying to do something for my other little guy,
I brought my twins home from the NICU about a month ago and I have 2 yr.old boy/girl twins. I think what helps us is that I let the two yr olds be involved in the care of the babies. They get me diapers, put the bottles on the counter when the babies are done eating, get me pacifiers and blankets. I also try not to alienate them while I'm feeding the babies. If they want to get up a sit next to me that's fine or if my feet are up on the ottaman my son likes to crawl under and over my legs. Praise is a big thing. If my son walks up to the babies and gives a kiss or hug I tell hime how proud of him I am (my daughter too but being a little mommy has come naturally to her). Just try to make it a positive experience and let him be involved. We may have had it easier since my first set was never used to total one on one attention but they do love their new sisters.
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